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"Seven weeks to look, see, learn, and share some skills in Conflict Resolution…
For over a year this journey has gradually been coming together. But the seeds were sown over 40 years ago when serving in Tanzania with the Peace Corps."  

August 16,2007     Dar Es Salaam


Arrived in Dar Es Salaam on a luxury bus on a good road and was still quite tired after only 7 hours. I decided I won't do another bus ride on this trip if I can avoid it. Leaving for Zanzibar on Saturday at 9:00 am and coming back on Wednesday afternoon.

I got out of the bus in an Arab quarter to look for a hotel an eccentric Brit told me about. The Al Aruba. I found it , but no rooms available. The neighborhood was wild and noisy. I could have been anywhere in the middle east. People were nice but it just didn't ring my bell, so I took a cab part way to get to my friend Steve Fisher's place. Steve would be home but is arriving the next day. Changing from cab to bus, a kid helped me carry my second bag to the right bus but he was getting away from me and in the rush to catch up, my back pack broke a side mirror on another bus. I just kept on going figuring the driver would eventually find me which he did. I didn't want to see the kid running down the road with my bag. It ended up costing me an extra $10 , but all is well inshallah. Then the bus ride and a taxi and I'm at Steve's. He'd phoned his sister in law, Freida to expect me and I was welcomed in the best of African hospitality. Went on the beach, a quarter mile away for a walk. Came back to a nice supper. In the morning I went for a run and intended to come back and do a wash. Stopped to talk to a guy sitting in front of a hotel on the beach, as he had an American accent. Ex -NFL player from Atlanta out here on a mission to build a basketball court for a public housing block. His name is Todd Peterson. Very nice fellow. He prayed for Jacques with me on the beach. We talked almost 40 minutes and then he had to go and I figured my hosts were probably sending out a posse. I was right. Got home to a nice breakfast and came downtown to confirm my flight next week. Also got a ticket for Zanzibar , leaving Saturday . I showed the lady selling tickets a hundred dollar bill, asking her if I would get US change . She said yes, gave me the ticket and 30 dollars and forgot to take the hundred. I found it in my pocket and went back. She was eternally grateful.

Well, I 'm cutting this short and getting back out on the streets. Dar has changed so much in the last 14 years, it is indescribable in some ways. All the streets are paved, thanks to the Japanese who did it several times til they got it right. When I was here in the past they were on their second try. They controlled the purse strings and got it done. Lots of new, tall , buildings. The harbor is cleaned up of a bunch of junk ships that were on the beach. In general things are a lot more modern , and I miss the sleepy little town that was here 40 years ago. But what has stood still? Not much. Maybe Bujumbura. I'm afraid to see what has become of Zanzibar. Maybe next time I'll start this trip in Kilwa and work my way north by plane.
George

 

 

 

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